International interest for smart operator support

On 29 April, the Smart & Digital Factory Lab in Kortrijk received a delegation from Argentina. The visitors showed a strong interest in the possibilities of Industry 4.0 and what it can bring to the cooperation between man and robot.

The delegation consisted of representatives of the Argentinian Embassy on a mission in Belgium and for the European Union, and a number of technology companies. The visitors were interested both in the demonstrator for smart assembly set up in the Lab, and in the activities around Industry 4.0. The topics covered included Factory of the Future, digitisation, robotisation and other operator supporting technologies.

The frequently asked question of whether robots will replace people in production came up. Research and experience has taught us that robot and man will support and complement each other on the production floor, each with their own strengths. The robot for heavy and repetitive tasks, and man for the complex tasks. For example, a robot can take over dirty, dangerous, physically or mentally stressful work, while the human operator can concentrate on intelligent tasks for which a robot cannot be used, for example for fine work and varied tasks or when there is a chance that something will go wrong.

The visit not only illustrates the international interest in developments and opportunities in the context of Industry 4.0, but also opens the door to possible international collaborations.

Do you have questions about how Industry 4.0 could evolve and what it would mean for you? Or how you can better support your staff in the performance of their tasks? Make sure to drop by at our lab for an inspiration session, take a look on our project page for Industry 4.0 or contact us.